Wait, what? Is that Touhou with HDR, Dynamic lighting and water reflections? With the looks of a high budget console game, it’s hard to imagine that Touhou Youyou Kengeki Musou is a doujin title. If you ever wondered what Touhou would look like in 1080p you should check this game out.
First thing off the bat, this game looks superb. No, just take a look at the screenshots, feel free to click on them to view them in all their 1080p glory. This is literaly the prettiest doujin game I have seen to date, period.
Grass is made out of indivdual strands, while butterflies fly around flower patches. Shadows are sharp and crisp. Water looks awesome and you can see fishes swiming about. Trees look pretty detailed and the game even has the effect when your eyes accomodate to the amount of light once you exit a cave. Some of these elements look so good that they rival AAA games.
Animations also look great. Attacks and character animations are extremly fluid. Blades of grass move in the direciton of the wind and enemy mushrooms bend while they prepare for an attack.
With the graphical drooling out of the way, Touhou Youyou Kengeki Musou is your typical top-down view hack and slash. You play as Youmu Konpaku cutting down fairies, frogs, mushrooms and tsuchinoko snakes that get in her way.
Besides your standard attack, you have three additional skills at your disposal. These special attacks also block any incoming fire so you will be using them a lot. Each of your special attacks consume one orb of your energy bar (with the whirlwind attack using up two). Your energy bar refills automatically, so it’s never like you have to conserve your special attacks.
Touhou Youyou Kengeki Musou also features a jump button. This is used for both platforming and dodging. Latter boss battles will test out your platforming skills, forcing you to time your jumps perfectly.
Bellow your HP bar you also have an additional super attack bar. Once filled, it can take out a quarter of a boss’s HP in one hit. While devastating when used on bosses, it’s usually overkill to use it on standard enemies. This is why you will most likely see yourself conserving this attack until the boss battle.
Bosses are your standard fare (excluding the giant frog). In the demo you fight Cirno and Marisa, but none of them really put up much of a fight. It’s here that the game tries to stay close to its bullet hell roots, as bosses fire endless barrages of bullets, which you must dodge with your platforming skills.
Touhou Youyou Kengeki Musou’s levels are huge. Each contain multiple paths encouraging exploration. Hidden throughout these areas you will find different colored vases. Destroying green ones recovers your HP. Yellow vases on the other hand are a lot less common and they give you a yellow orb. Collecting three yellow orbs increases your special attack energy bar by one orb.
The game does feature some platforming sections, which are a nice addition to a hack and slash game. Platforming allows latter levels to open up, in order to explore hidden paths that would otherwise be out of reach.
On normal difficulty the game is a bit on the easy side. You will rarely get hit and HP recovery vases are scattered everywhere, making it pretty difficult to die. The only times I died were on the platforming sections and even those are forgiving, since check points were located just before and after the platforms. Hard mode does offer a bit more of a challenge, but it’s still far from what I expected.
While most of this game’s praise definitely comes from the ridiculously high graphics quality, it’s still not a bad game by itself. It may get repetitive as it’s not very challenging, but its varied environments and interesting boss battles make the game worthwhile.
You have no excuse to miss out on the free demo. The game allows you to customize your graphics settings so it should work on less powerful hardware.